PC Sales Growth Soars

Sales of PCs worldwide grew 24.2 percent during the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period in 2009, according to preliminary figures released today by IDC.

The figures follow a robust earnings report by Intel yesterday, which posted a record 44 percent jump in revenues for the quarter ended March 27. Revenues for the period were $10.3 billion from $7.5 billion year-over-year, Intel said.

That growth is modestly inflated by the fact that last year at this time, PC sales had actually declined nearly 7 percent, according to IDC's first quarter PC Tracker report. In all, IDC said 79 million PCs sold this quarter, compared with nearly 64 million during the same period last year. The boost in PC unit shipments suggests robust demand for PCs and a correction with regard to last year's dismal demand, IDC said.

Much of the growth was due to demand in foreign markets. In the Untied States growth was a more modest 16.9 percent totaling 17.5 million units, up from 15 million last year.

"The U.S. PC market exhibited encouraging signs of recovery in the first quarter," said IDC analyst Andrew Hanson, in a statement. "While part of this growth is a correction from a dismal first-quarter 2009, some of it was driven by new PC refresh projects in the commercial markets. This is in addition to ongoing consumer appetite for more mobile devices as price points remain attractive and the multi-device per user environment expands."

Hanson noted that the outlook for the coming quarters is also optimistic as new types of devices are released but warned the current growth levels aren't sustainable.

Among the fastest growing PC vendors in the United States were Acer Group and Toshiba. Acer, which shipped 2.3 million units, posted nearly 46 percent growth and saw its market share grow from 10.5 percent to 13.1 percent. Toshiba, which sold 1.5 million units also gained market share from 6.7 percent to 8.6 percent, posting a 49 percent growth.

The market leaders, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell saw their shares decline and posted growth of 7.8 percent and 7.5 percent respectively, though they sell far more units than their rivals. HP sold 4.5 million for the quarter, though its market share slipped from 27.5 percent to 25.4 percent. Dell, which sold 4.2 million units, saw its share drop from 26 percent to 24 percent.

Also losing share was Apple which dropped from 7 percent to 6.4 percent, though it also saw shipments grow 8.3 percent.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.